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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
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Thanks! That is .... brutal! Maintaining that schedule for 4 months is hard! I suddenly remembered my isolation of studying for GMAT and having to skip almost all activities. I did not take any days off either but I think it would have been healthy (though I probably would have felt guilty).

Are you applying this season? is it on to the applications at this point? Have you identified the schools? (I think with that score anything is on the table really and it is all about the profile, essays, GPA, and those other pesky things).

Thanks,
BB.


variantguy wrote:
bb wrote:
Wow! Congratulations! Fantastic Score!!!

How many hours per day and days per week did you end up studying?
Did you take any days off? What about weekends?

Thanks so much for sharing!
BB.


Thanks bb :)

This is what my study schedule looked like on most days for those 4 months:
Monday to Friday: 2-2.5 hours in the morning, and 2 hours in the evening (on average, there were days I'd come late from work or be drained)
Saturday: 3.5 hours of test taking in the morning, followed by about an hour of test analysis. 2-3 hours of studying in the evening.
Sunday: 3-4 hours of studying, preferably early in the day (I like keeping my Sunday evenings free of any kind of work)

I didn't take too many days off from prep, except after my first GMAT attempt when I probably went easy for 4-5 days and took time to revise and reflect instead of diving straight ahead into prep.
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
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Thanks! That is .... brutal! Maintaining that schedule for 4 months is hard! I suddenly remembered my isolation of studying for GMAT and having to skip almost all activities. I did not take any days off either but I think it would have been healthy (though I probably would have felt guilty).

Are you applying this season? is it on to the applications at this point? Have you identified the schools? (I think with that score anything is on the table really and it is all about the profile, essays, GPA, and those other pesky things).

Thanks,
BB.


Yeah, I think I got a bit late into the game so there was no option but to go full throttle! Of all the things I skipped (and there were quite a few), working out was the one that I really missed the most. I did try keeping up with it initially, but there was a point when I was risking burning out, and some tough decisions had to be taken! Traded this score for a little lower belly fat increase :lol: And ditto on the feeling guilty bit!

Yes, I am planning to apply this season. Have started warming up to the process - a massive excel sheet with school ranks, stats, preferences, deadlines, info from peers, points for essays etc. is shaping up. I'm also having some preliminary talks with a few admissions consultants (and wondering if I can/should go solo on that front :|)

My list of target schools looks something like this: Stanford, Haas, Kellogg, Fuqua, Ross, Anderson, Cornell.

Couple of questions for you bb:
1. Consultant or no consultant? My only reservation is the astronomical fees really, however, the ROI does seem favorable.

Originally posted by variantguy on 13 Jun 2019, 13:02.
Last edited by variantguy on 28 Jul 2019, 21:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
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Sorry about the wait. Stupid job got in the way :-)


10 years ago a second MBA meant probably an automatic ding but things are different now. Some schools are still old-school but they’re much more open minded if the first Degree was from a different country and perhaps more of a masters.

I’m glad to hear you’re not trying to be a consultant as that tends to get harder this time. The industry you picked is pretty specific and will likely recruiting off campus... and Haas is a great fit with that but so is Ross and Fuqua and Yale. Often, candidates looking for sustainability get generous scholarships since burdening them with a bunch of debt kind of goes against the whole idea but sometimes comp is really good. Depends on the company.

The decision about admissions consultant is easy. If you have some friends who are current students all have recently graduated from a top 10 program, You can leverage them for the very similar help admissions consultant would provide you with. Also since you’ve gone through the experience before, you can wing some of it. At the same time if you don’t have a couple friends or contacts he can leverage to review your essays, to give you feedback about your profile, and poke holes in your resume, I wouldn’t risk waiting an extra year and get a consultant on your side. Many folks will get a consultant for half the schools they apply to and then they do the rest on their own.

I would highly recommend applying in both round one and round two rather than just trying to cram everything into round one. I’ve been working on the post about that and hope to have it ready within a week.

It’s great you got GMAT out of your way at this point in time. It’s a fantastic score especially this many years out of high school and college. AdCom will notice that.

BB

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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
bb wrote:
Sorry about the wait. Stupid job got in the way :-)


10 years ago a second MBA meant probably an automatic ding but things are different now. Some schools are still old-school but they’re much more open minded if the first Degree was from a different country and perhaps more of a masters.

I’m glad to hear you’re not trying to be a consultant as that tends to get harder this time. The industry you picked is pretty specific and will likely recruiting off campus... and Haas is a great fit with that but so is Ross and Fuqua and Yale. Often, candidates looking for sustainability get generous scholarships since burdening them with a bunch of debt kind of goes against the whole idea but sometimes comp is really good. Depends on the company.


Haha, no worries, we all gotta bring home the bacon!

Yeah, my first degree, even though a PGDM was focused on communications and my major was Digital Communications. We had a lot of focus on marketing, by extension, but it wasn't a hardcore business-y degree.

bb wrote:
The decision about admissions consultant is easy. If you have some friends who are current students all have recently graduated from a top 10 program, You can leverage them for the very similar help admissions consultant would provide you with. Also since you’ve gone through the experience before, you can wing some of it. At the same time if you don’t have a couple friends or contacts he can leverage to review your essays, to give you feedback about your profile, and poke holes in your resume, I wouldn’t risk waiting an extra year and get a consultant on your side. Many folks will get a consultant for half the schools they apply to and then they do the rest on their own.

I would highly recommend applying in both round one and round two rather than just trying to cram everything into round one. I’ve been working on the post about that and hope to have it ready within a week.

It’s great you got GMAT out of your way at this point in time. It’s a fantastic score especially this many years out of high school and college. AdCom will notice that.

BB

Posted from my mobile device


Agree with the R1/R2 split strategy. I already kind of have an idea of which ones I want to target in R1 and which ones in R2. I'm looking forward to your post!!

In terms of my existing network, I do have one or two people I know - both students and recent graduates - in each of my dream schools and I'm trying to reach out to others too. But it's just that this is my first time applying, so being new to the process as well as treating this as a 'one and done' scenario, I think I'd need to prioritize where I spend most of my time and effort. In any case, I'll make up my mind by next week and start the work. It actually feels like GMAT prep was the easier part of the process! :lol:

This has been a really helpful conversation bb, much appreciated! :)

Originally posted by variantguy on 14 Jun 2019, 02:18.
Last edited by variantguy on 28 Jul 2019, 21:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
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Sounds great and I agree with you - with GMAT Prep, the "enemy" is much more defined and exposed and known. With applications, it is quite vague and uncertain, esp if the school has not opened the applications yet. Of course a consultant would help with that or something like the Applicant Lab system - it is a combination of structuring your notes, applications, tracker for each school and videos to help you with each stage of the process (100+ hrs of videos).

Whichever path you take, be prepared to work hard and start far in advance on your applications. Many suggest 2 schools per month but it is possible to squeeze in 3 as there are economies of scale, esp now that essays are similar and LOR's are very similar but still, the biggest challenge will be getting your recommenders to fill out all those a forms on time and reminding them to do it 10 times and make sure they do a good job at it and not just submit the night before.

I will post my application strategy idea and share a link next week.
Thanks!
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
variantguy That's some determination. Congrats!
I'll be writing my test in 30 days and I'm struggling to push beyond 680 in the mock tests while my target is 720+
Any quick tip will help me.

Thanks
S
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
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sushmithaseshan wrote:
variantguy That's some determination. Congrats!
I'll be writing my test in 30 days and I'm struggling to push beyond 680 in the mock tests while my target is 720+
Any quick tip will help me.

Thanks
S



I would definitely re-read the post as it has a lot of helpful tips.
Also, to point out, your question is too vague and any answer you will receive will have to be equally vague. For example, a good answer to your question would be "study harder" or "study smarter". I think both are true and accurate but not helpful. But what can you expect if you did not say that you are looking for help with CR, SC, PS, DS, Timing, Test taking, etc?


P.S. This goes along with how you should be networking with current students and alums in BSchools. If you ask them for something so generic, that will require either a one-liner or a 2-page reply, what do you think they will reply? your question needs to show respect, research, and show that you have done you homework, and possibly show some genuine interest in the other person. :cool:

Good Luck!
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
Loved every bit of your debrief, my friend. All the best to you for your applications.
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
sushmithaseshan wrote:
variantguy That's some determination. Congrats!
I'll be writing my test in 30 days and I'm struggling to push beyond 680 in the mock tests while my target is 720+
Any quick tip will help me.

Thanks
S


Hi sushmithaseshan,

As bb also pointed out, I can't really provide a reliable and useful answer to your question in its current format. :|

It would help if you could share more - particular areas of weakness, kind of mistakes, your test taking strategies. Tell us a problem and maybe we can help with a solution.

Cheers!
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
rahulsehgal wrote:
Loved every bit of your debrief, my friend. All the best to you for your applications.


Glad that you found it useful! Thank you for your wishes! :)

Cheers!
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
Great read mate! So you took a full CAT each day of the weekend in March and then once a weekend in April? Very interestin.g

Did you review mistakes/notes during the week? If you reviewed, what did you do specifically?

What test banks / practice CATs did you find most beneficial to improving your verbal?
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
Hey @dcummins, thank mate! Glad you found it useful!

I did maintain an error log/reflection book and made sure I was documenting extensively in it. I also reviewed the test - at least the part where I recorded the errors - almost immediately after because things would still be fresh in my mind. I would then do the course-correction over the week, along with regular practice, and test the following week to see if there was progress.

I lost the excel sheet where I was doing this, but mainly I was tracking the following things:

  • Accuracy rate for Verbal and Quant (even though the nature of the correlation between how many questions you get right/wrong vs. your section score is not entirely clear, I found it useful to just know whether I was getting more or less accurate over time, and would often reflect on this in context of how difficult/easy I found the respective mock test overall).
  • For each section (Verbal and Quant), I maintained a log of accuracy for the sub-sections. It helped me understand where exactly I was making the mistakes, and I focused my efforts on improvements accordingly. For example, my DS accuracy was much lower than PS in Quant, and so during my Quant study and practice, I was always focusing more on DS.
  • Nature of mistake - I found this the most useful. For each incorrect question, I documented the reason why I made that mistake. If I remember correctly, I was using 4-5 buckets to classify - 'did not know the concept asked,' 'did not comprehend the question correctly,' 'execution mistake - calculation, the formula used, etc.,' 'silly mistake.' Then I took corresponding actions. Bucket #1 was the easiest to deal with, and I think as I studied more, the errors there became almost non-existent. Buckets #3 and #4 were lost opportunities, and so I focused a lot on reducing those kinds of mistakes, and it helped to keep track of whether I was controlling the controllable.
  • Question bank - I also bookmarked/noted down questions where there was a unique concept used or a very useful/nifty execution method was posted in the explaining solution. Especially for Quant since that was my weaker area.

In terms of resources for improving Verbal, here are some I found extremely useful:
  • The Veritas Prep app was terrific in terms of enhancing my execution skills on Verbal. The lectures are super easy to follow and drastically improved my concepts, especially on CR. Here's a link to the Android app (not sure if it's there on iOS): https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... mand&hl=en
    Note: The app is poorly built (too bad!) and crashes a lot, and I spent a lot of time just dealing with that, but it was worth it!
  • For practice, I found the Veritas free question bank, the eGMAT Scholaranium, and the 'hardest questions' collection on GMATClub to be the most useful.

Let me know if you have any other specific things I can help out with! :)


dcummins wrote:
Great read mate! So you took a full CAT each day of the weekend in March and then once a weekend in April? Very interestin.g

Did you review mistakes/notes during the week? If you reviewed, what did you do specifically?

What test banks / practice CATs did you find most beneficial to improving your verbal?
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
variantguy wrote:
Hey @dcummins, thank mate! Glad you found it useful!

I did maintain an error log/reflection book and made sure I was documenting extensively in it. I also reviewed the test - at least the part where I recorded the errors - almost immediately after because things would still be fresh in my mind. I would then do the course-correction over the week, along with regular practice, and test the following week to see if there was progress.

I lost the excel sheet where I was doing this, but mainly I was tracking the following things:

  • Accuracy rate for Verbal and Quant (even though the nature of the correlation between how many questions you get right/wrong vs. your section score is not entirely clear, I found it useful to just know whether I was getting more or less accurate over time, and would often reflect on this in context of how difficult/easy I found the respective mock test overall).
  • For each section (Verbal and Quant), I maintained a log of accuracy for the sub-sections. It helped me understand where exactly I was making the mistakes, and I focused my efforts on improvements accordingly. For example, my DS accuracy was much lower than PS in Quant, and so during my Quant study and practice, I was always focusing more on DS.
  • Nature of mistake - I found this the most useful. For each incorrect question, I documented the reason why I made that mistake. If I remember correctly, I was using 4-5 buckets to classify - 'did not know the concept asked,' 'did not comprehend the question correctly,' 'execution mistake - calculation, the formula used, etc.,' 'silly mistake.' Then I took corresponding actions. Bucket #1 was the easiest to deal with, and I think as I studied more, the errors there became almost non-existent. Buckets #3 and #4 were lost opportunities, and so I focused a lot on reducing those kinds of mistakes, and it helped to keep track of whether I was controlling the controllable.
  • Question bank - I also bookmarked/noted down questions where there was a unique concept used or a very useful/nifty execution method was posted in the explaining solution. Especially for Quant since that was my weaker area.

In terms of resources for improving Verbal, here are some I found extremely useful:
  • The Veritas Prep app was terrific in terms of enhancing my execution skills on Verbal. The lectures are super easy to follow and drastically improved my concepts, especially on CR. Here's a link to the Android app (not sure if it's there on iOS): https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... mand&hl=en
    Note: The app is poorly built (too bad!) and crashes a lot, and I spent a lot of time just dealing with that, but it was worth it!
  • For practice, I found the Veritas free question bank, the eGMAT Scholaranium, and the 'hardest questions' collection on GMATClub to be the most useful.

Let me know if you have any other specific things I can help out with! :)


dcummins wrote:
Great read mate! So you took a full CAT each day of the weekend in March and then once a weekend in April? Very interestin.g

Did you review mistakes/notes during the week? If you reviewed, what did you do specifically?

What test banks / practice CATs did you find most beneficial to improving your verbal?



Thanks for your detailed response. I've been doing something similar, but I don't specifically focus on reducing 'silly mistakes' as much as I should. I guess the only thing I do is be cognizant of the mistakes I tend to make. For example I tend to misinterpret stuff quite a lot. I don't know why this happens - maybe exam/ time pressure or maybe i'm exhausted- but i'll interpret in a different way than the way it is actually stated.

So you review after you do tests/ questions, go back and calibrate your plan and adjust for weak points to focus on in that week? Thats pretty much what i do if so.

I guess I need to cover more of my weak points.

For some reason I can't pull off stable verbal scores in official gmat sitting, hence why i've gotten 650 so many times. Barring the last exam I took, my quant seems to be good at Q47-48, but as a native english speaker I feel its almost given that I should be hitting V40, but in my practice I seem to be stagnated.

For example, I sat a Manhattan CAT Today (verbal component only) and scored a V36. I scored this exact same score 3 weeks ago though - the last time I took the test. Perhaps its because I don't test as frequently... I see that as the biggest difference between myself and you in terms of exam prep... I'm sorta in awe at how much you tested and your linear progression lol...


Thanks for the links. I note that the veritas app is android only though.

Did you use just the free question banks of the providers you referenced?
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
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dcummins wrote:

Thanks for your detailed response. I've been doing something similar, but I don't specifically focus on reducing 'silly mistakes' as much as I should. I guess the only thing I do is be cognizant of the mistakes I tend to make. For example I tend to misinterpret stuff quite a lot. I don't know why this happens - maybe exam/ time pressure or maybe i'm exhausted- but i'll interpret in a different way than the way it is actually stated.

So you review after you do tests/ questions, go back and calibrate your plan and adjust for weak points to focus on in that week? Thats pretty much what i do if so.

I guess I need to cover more of my weak points.


Yeah, I think I took it personally to not make any silly mistakes or errors due to a lapse in concentration - GMAT is already a pretty tough exam as is so why make it tougher on myself to score, haha!

I think I tried to identify patterns rather than obsess with isolated errors, and then prioritized working on anything that seemed to be cropping up repeatedly, until I had taken care of it and it showed in the mock results. I think I too had the 'misinterpretation' issue in Verbal early on, especially in CR and I realized that I was making the classic mistake of assuming stuff and facts because of real-world biases. That's one of the many things I learned not to do from the Veritas app lectures. I decided to completely remove my real-world biases and information while dealing with any question in CR, and that immediately started showing results.

dcummins wrote:
For some reason I can't pull off stable verbal scores in official gmat sitting, hence why i've gotten 650 so many times. Barring the last exam I took, my quant seems to be good at Q47-48, but as a native english speaker I feel its almost given that I should be hitting V40, but in my practice I seem to be stagnated.

For example, I sat a Manhattan CAT Today (verbal component only) and scored a V36. I scored this exact same score 3 weeks ago though - the last time I took the test. Perhaps its because I don't test as frequently... I see that as the biggest difference between myself and you in terms of exam prep... I'm sorta in awe at how much you tested and your linear progression lol...


Haha, I might sound like a nerd but I absolutely love taking tests, especially something as adaptive as GMAT. It's almost like playing a game where the opponent keeps getting smarter and you have to keep getting better too! But yeah, besides gauging my progress, I also wanted to really condition myself mentally, physically, and emotionally for the final exam and develop that muscle memory to just go in on the big day and conduct business as usual. Big believer in the power of habit! :-D

But it wasn't a truly linear progression - I plateaued for a while too. I think it happens to everyone, and it helps to identify the patterns of error-making and deal with those (besides obviously working on foundational conceptual strength). For Verbal, I found it useful to develop a unique approach (mostly a mix of what that Veritas app teaches and tips from the Manhattan blog series) for each of the three sub-sections that really worked for me. It took multiple iterations, but I think once I had it nailed, my Verbal scores improved and didn't fluctuate much. I think it might help you as well to completely go back to the basics and see if your approaches are leaving you vulnerable to making the same mistakes over and over

dcummins wrote:
Thanks for the links. I note that the veritas app is android only though.

Did you use just the free question banks of the providers you referenced?


You could also check out their YouTube account. I think they have the same videos uploaded on their channel there.

And yes, I only used the free question banks, besides the Veritas test series and GMATClub test package. :)
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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
Thanks man. Well deserved.

I’ll need to focus on my reasons for errors I guess. It makes sense. I’ll take everything you’ve mentioned into consideration for sure!

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Re: 12 weeks to 720, then 3 weeks to 750 - My story of willing & winning [#permalink]
Sorry mate, one thing I really wanted to understand is whether you went back and resolved those same questions you got incorrect? Did you create your error log from every question you did or just from exams?

Just trying to understand if I should also try and dedicate time to re-doing previously incorrect questions/ reviewing flash cards etc.

I actually went through my errors and saw that I wasn't really focusing on why I was getting them incorrect.

Now, the errors I've documented go back to the beginning of the year and as you can see I get a heap wrong due to timing. Oddly enough timing was a huge factor for me in the last test and in my ESR you can see I had 86% correct, 86% then plummeted quite dramatically to 46% dn 36% correct - likely due to fatigue and timing constraints.
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